It’s March 17th, so what does that mean? Aside from drinking green beer, eating corned beef and cabbage, wearing green and chasing leprechauns? You mean there’s really a history behind St. Paddy’s day?!
According to Wikipedia, Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated each year on March 17th. How many of you knew it’s the death date of the most commonly-recognized patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461).
As most of us know, it’s customary to wear green clothing or accessories (the “wearing of the green”). St. Patrick is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish. This story first appears in writing in 1726, though it may be older. In pagan Ireland, three was a significant number and the Irish had many (triple deities)
Why wear green?!
The color green has been associated with Ireland since at least the 1640s, when the green harp flag was used by the Irish Catholic Confederation. Green ribbons and shamrocks have been worn on St Patrick’s Day since at least the 1680s.The color was adopted as the colour of the Friendly Brothers of St Patrick,an Irish fraternity founded around 1750.However, when the Order of St. Patrick, an Anglo-Irish chivalric order was founded in 1783, it adopted blue as its color. In the 1790s, green became associated with Irish nationalism when it was used by theIrishmen. The phrase “wearing of the green” comes from a song, which laments United Irishmen supporters being persecuted for wearing green. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s Day grew.
Pinch Me?! Traditions Explained
Leprechauns Explained: The first recorded mention of a leprechaun goes back to the 8th century, coming from the word luchorpán, meaning “little body” to describe water spirits, according to John and Caitlin Matthews in The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures.
Corned Beef & Cabbage: Although a classic St. Patrick’s Day meal, corned beef and cabbage is more American than Irish. Irish Americans in the 19th century were mostly poor. The most affordable meat available was said to be corned beef and cabbage is a Spring vegetable and really cheap!
Beer: On a typical day, Americans drink about 600,000 pints of the Dublin-based beer. But on St. Patrick’s Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are downed, according to Guinness in an email to USA TODAY Network.
Pinching: When the Irish immigrated to the U.S. because of the potato famine, they were ridiculed. When St. Patrick’s Day would arrive, a few wore green to bring attention to this oppression. So the Irish that did wear green pinched those who didn’t for lack of pride. And this was passed down through the generations. (metrostudentmedia.com)
And you thought St. Paddy’s day was just an excuse to drink green beer and pinch people…..